Lockdown life getting you down? These stand-up comedy specials will ward away those pandemic blues

To give you a few hours of laughter amid the coronavirus lockdown, here are a few hilarious and intelligent comedy specials.
Bo Burnham’s what or Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King, take your pick.
Bo Burnham’s what or Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King, take your pick.
Updated on Apr 08, 2020 04:20 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

These are unprecedented times we are living in and even those with the strongest minds can sometimes start feeling the pressure. To be locked in one’s home for days, weeks and months can do nasty things to our mental health and it’s therefore important to look for happiness and some laughter, wherever one can find it.

To ward away your coronavirus boredom/stress/anxiety or whatever is pulling you down these days, we bring your these hilarious stand up comedy specials. Stream them, watch them, laugh with them and forget your worries for a while. You know you deserve it.

what, Bo Burnham


You have never seen a stand-up quite like Bo Burnham’s 2013 masterpiece, what. Bo brings music and jokes together in this heady mix that leaves you wondering what you have been watching in the name of comedy all this while.

He brings some really scandalous jokes calling out paedophiles and sings of the human condition from the perspective of God, all the while basking in self-deprecating humour. With multiple songs aiding his 1 hours 15 minute performance from start to finish, Burnham shows how comedy doesn’t need to limit itself to just a mic and a funny man holding it.

You can watch it here.

Baby Cobra, Ali Wong


Who knew a pregnancy could birth such hilarious jokes. Ali Wong’s 2016 stand-up special debut Baby Cobra, earned her great reviews for turning a major milestone in her life to comedy gold. She was seven and a half months pregnant when she filmed the special and joked about all from sex to miscarriages.

Dressed in her tight animal print dress and flats, Ali took the stage like a force of nature. Her very physical style of comedy cracked up even the hardest nuts in the room and proved how making babies is a common experience across races and equally hilarious everywhere.

You can watch it here.

Also read:Irrfan Khan’s Angrezi Medium premieres online after being pulled out from theatres due to lockdown

Homecoming King, Hasan Minhaj


Hasan Minhaj’s 2017 film Homecoming King is equal parts hilarious and emotional. In his film, he talks about growing up in an immigrant Indian family in Davis, California, surrounded by a big, white community. He talks about the racist attacks on his family, his high school heartbreak and the kindness in forgiveness in a charming and intelligently scripted performance.

There are also the really hilarious bits about his parents hiding the existence of his sister from him, the way he finally accepted her and all the hate he harboured in his heart for his ex. Homecoming King is a rare combination of heart and humour that will leave you with a warm feeling in your chest and an ache in your tummy.

You can watch it here.

Aziz Ansari: Right Now


In his comeback stand-up special last year, Aziz Ansari showed the right way to address allegations of sexual misconduct. Not by gaslighting or by making light of the very real problem— a la few other comedians in a similar situation— but by genuine self reflection.

In this film, directed by Spike Jonze, Aziz talks about everything from wokeness to cancel culture to white people’s eagerness to prove themselves non-racist. He peppers it with stories about his grandmother and the fear of losing his parents one day. This is a more mature Aziz than one we had known two years ago.

You can watch it here.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022